In a recent post, I spoke about the 10 myths of public speaking. Here is the corollary – the 10 truths of public speaking.
1) You can never be over-prepared. The better prepared, and the more you practise, the better you presentation will be.
2) The slides are not the presentation. If you create your presentation and then your slides (if necessary), your slides will support your presentation, rather than be a substitute for it.
3) It is about what the audience can receive. If you focus on meeting the needs of your audience, rather than on impressing them with how much you know, you will have retain their interest.
4) Timing is important. Good timing keeps the meeting on time, it allows for you to say everything that you wanted to say, and it keeps the audience happy. Remember that most audiences start tuning out for the last few minutes of a presentation, no matter how long or short it is.
5) Preparing an effective speech takes time. The more that you prepare, the better your presentation.
6) Only use notes to jog your memory. Use notes (preferably q-cards) if necessary, but only to remind you of your key points. This allows for you to keep your focus on the audience, and not on your presentation.
7) You might need a microphone. A microphone ensures that you will be heard by everybody, and it allows for you to play with your vocal variety. Unless it is a very small room or group, you will probably need a micrphone.
8) Structure is important. A well structured speech keeps the audiences interest. It prevents them from getting lost and confused.
9) You would rather give a speech than die. Gun or microphone – which is it?
10) Try not to alienate anybody in your audience. I say try, because it is almost impossible not to offend somebody at some stage, but don’t deliberately do so.
… and a bonus
11) You can become a good speaker. Follow the tips above, join Toastmasters and you WILL become a good speaker!